Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – Family of Cardinals

Happily a family of cardinals has decided to call the trees behind my house their home. I must admit, I wasn’t sure there was a family until just this past week. Over the Summer I had seen the cardinals but wasn’t sure if I was seeing one multiple times or several different cardinals. Finally this week, I saw several of them together. At one point I saw three by one of the bird feeders, but I wasn’t quick enough to get the shot this time.

A few fun facts from allaboutbirds.org :

  • The Northern Cardinal is the state bird for seven states
  • The oldest recorded Northern Cardinal was a female. She was just about 16 years old.
  • If the male Northern Cardinal sees its reflection in a mirror is can spend hours trying to fight off the intruder. The male fiercely protects it’s breeding territory.

Below are a few pictures of what I am referring to as the siblings. These are young northern cardinals because their beaks are a dark brown. I believe I have seen the mama, but I didn’t get a picture of her this week. I did hear her – she is very vocal. I was able to get a picture or two of the papa. He was a little more difficult as he didn’t stick around long to get his picture taken. 🙂

Mama cardinal blending in with the bird feeder
Sibling cardinals enjoying a snack
Sibling cardinals looking for their snack
Papa cardinal watching over his family

Hope you enjoy the pictures! Thank you for stopping by my blog!

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – A New Bird Feeder, I think they like it!

Guess having five different types bird feeders just wasn’t enough. We bought another one.

We came across this particular bird feeder while at a local craft fair. A gentleman I worked with several years ago made this. This was made from an old chipped candy dish and a glass vase. He says his wife designs and he puts the items together. The red really caught my eye, so the birds ended up with another feeder. 🙂

With this particular feeder the birds don’t have to rest on a perch, they can just land on in it and start enjoying their food. Some were very happy about this change:

nom nom nom

While others still prefer the perch approach…

Looks like all the birds are happy. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog! Hope you are having a great day!

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back yard photographer -Argh! When can I get out?

Weather, work schedules and life in general don’t always provide opportunities to spend quality time for taking pictures.  This doesn’t mean I put my camera in the closet and wait for the ideal time to get the pictures I want.  Sometimes you just have to improvise and do what you can.

This is when my pets and objects in the house get to be the subjects of my photographs.  Some days the animals are more willing to be the subjects and other days they would much rather hide.  So when the animals hide, I end up taking pictures of different things around my house – either inside the house or viewing from my window.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken over the past couple of days when the weather has been too cold to spend anytime outside.

These are a couple of garden statues I have sitting on my deck.  The snail looks a little angry about being covered with snow. 🙂

garden snail
Snow? Really?

blue gnome
This weather makes me feel blue.

My cat was feeling left out, so he posed for some pictures.  OK, he didn’t really pose, but he didn’t take off running!

I also captured some new pictures of the cardinal in my backyard.  With the gray of the day, the red of the cardinal seems so much brighter.

c birdfeeder 8cardinal in a treecardinal on a fence

What are some changes you have had to make and still been able to achieve your goals?

Please feel free to comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Photography · Short Stories · Writing

Backyard Photographer – Look Who Came to visit.

hawk 3a

This hawk must have heard from all the other birds that we provide birdseed.  The hawk was not there to snack on birdseed.  He was checking out the plumpness of the birds that were enjoying the birdseed.  Fortunately he did not get a snack.

I was excited and saddened all at the same time when I was getting this picture.  Getting a picture of a Hawk in the wild has been on my To Do List.  I have gotten pictures of them in captivity, but it isn’t quite the same.

As I was memorized by the beauty, I saw him slowly turn his head.  He was checking out the buffet of the birds below him.  He then jumped to the ground, in the field, near the birds and he started walking towards the tree where my cardinals lived.  I started dancing around and trying not to scream, “Oh no, Not my cardinals!” I was taking the pictures from inside my house, so I didn’t disturb any of the creatures while I was trying NOT to be hysterical.  I then saw the cardinals take off and the hawk looked around on the ground some more.  He soon became bored of the hunt and took off.  Whew!

Here’s a few more pictures of the Hawk.  Hope you enjoy these pictures.

hawk 1
Stopping by to check things out.

hawk 4a
A bird has been found

hawk 4
Is there a cardinal in that tree?

Here’s a few pictures of the cardinals I was worried about.

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All photos are original photos taken by Kim Stites.

Photography · Short Stories · Writing

Back yard Photographer – Cardinals

A family of cardinals has moved into the field behind my house and I could not be happier.  The opportunities to get pictures of the cardinals are almost endless.

Here’s a few of my most recent pictures:

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Tree Top View

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Working for some food

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Wow this snow is bright!

This fascination/obsession of mine with cardinals has not been a life long thing.   It has only been since this past Summer when I got my camera and noticed the cardinals.  They may have been there all along, but this is the first that I have noticed and paid attention.

A few more pictures:

 

When I got my camera, there were some pictures that I had on my “to capture” list.  Getting a picture of the male cardinal was on that list.  His bright red feathers stand out in any backdrop: Winter snow, Summer green and the browns of Autumn.

Some examples:

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The more I tried to get pictures of the male, the more I got to see the female and the beauty she possess.  She doesn’t have the full body of red feathers, but her muted colors stand out on their own.  Her orange beak is vibrant and usually the first thing I notice.  Then her wings and tail feathers have a beautiful, subtle hue.

Here’s a few pictures of this beauty:

GC 15ADSC_0068GC 13

 

I’ve learned a few things about these birds as I have worked at getting pictures of them:

  •  Their distinctive sound.  I know when they are in the yard or the nearby trees, because I hear their chirp.  That is my queue to get my camera and take some pictures.
  • Best time of day to get a picture of a cardinal – Near sunrise or sunset.  Once I knew this little tidbit I would watch for the cardinals at these times.  Almost without fail, the would be near the bird feeder at these times.

If the belief is true:  A sighting of a cardinal is the spirit of a loved one coming to visit, then I am very blessed as I get visited daily.

Hope you are blessed with inspiration and peace.  Have a wonderful day!